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Thomas, Robert A.; Thomas, Aimée K. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
We present a new use for a poorly preserved turtle specimen that teachers can easily use in demonstrating vertebrate anatomy or adaptive herpetology at the high school or college level. We give special attention to illustrating the sigmoid flexure of the neck as certain turtles withdraw their heads. This ability is anatomically and biologically…
Descriptors: Preservation, Anatomy, Demonstrations (Educational), Animals
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Work, Kirsten A.; Gibbs, Melissa A.; Friedman, Erich J. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
We describe a card game that helps introductory biology students understand the basics of the immune response to pathogens. Students simulate the steps of the immune response with cards that represent the pathogens and the cells and molecules mobilized by the immune system. In the process, they learn the similarities and differences between the…
Descriptors: Microbiology, Cytology, Molecular Biology, Biological Sciences
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Osenkowski, Pamela; Green, Che; Tjaden, Anne; Cunniff, Peggy – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Animal dissection has been routinely practiced in American biology classrooms for decades. With technological advancements, more states adopting student choice measures, and increased awareness about ethical concerns surrounding dissection, many useful dissection alternatives have been developed. To understand the current use of animal dissection…
Descriptors: Laboratory Procedures, Teacher Attitudes, Student Attitudes, Animals
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Hodgson, Jay Y. S.; Mateer, Scott C. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
The compound microscope is an important tool in biology, and mastering it requires repetition. Unfortunately, introductory activities for students can be formulaic, and consequently, students are often unengaged and fail to develop the required experience to become proficient in microscopy. To engage students, increase repetition, and develop…
Descriptors: Inquiry, Biology, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods
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McKernan, Lisa N. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
The challenge of teaching in the sciences is not only conveying knowledge in the discipline, but also developing essential critical thinking, data analysis, and scientific writing skills. I outline an exercise that can be done easily as part of a microbiology laboratory course. It teaches the nature of the research process, from asking questions…
Descriptors: Microbiology, Teaching Methods, Research Methodology, Scientific Research
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Flinn, Kathryn M. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
In this classroom activity, students build a phylogeny for woody plant species based on the morphology of their twigs. Using any available twigs, students can practice the process of cladistics to test evolutionary hypotheses for real organisms. They identify homologous characters, determine polarity through outgroup comparison, and construct a…
Descriptors: Class Activities, Science Activities, Teaching Methods, Educational Strategies
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Robischon, Marcel – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Genetic drift is a concept of population genetics that is central to understanding evolutionary processes and aspects of conservation biology. It is frequently taught using rather abstract representations. I introduce three real-life zoological examples, based on historical and recent color morphs of tigers, tapirs, and ravens, that can complement…
Descriptors: Genetics, Animals, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods
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Hubler, Tina; Adams, Patti; Scammell, Jonathan – American Biology Teacher, 2015
The molecular basis of evolution is an important and challenging concept for students to understand. In a previous article, we provided some of the scientific background necessary to teach this topic. This article features a series of laboratory activities demonstrating that molecular events can alter the genomes of organisms. These activities are…
Descriptors: Laboratory Experiments, Science Activities, Molecular Biology, Genetics
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Bouwma-Gearhart, Jana; Bouwma, Andrew – American Biology Teacher, 2015
The "Next Generation Science Standards" (NGSS Lead States, 2013) recommend that science courses engage communities of students in scientific practices that include building accurate conceptual models of phenomena central to the understanding of scientific disciplines. We offer a set of activities, implemented successfully at both the…
Descriptors: Scientific Concepts, Scientific Literacy, Scientific Principles, Science Activities
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Tseng, ChingMei; Chen, Shu-Bi Shu-Bi; Chang, Wen-Hua – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Guiding students to generate testable scientific questions is essential in the inquiry classroom, but it is not easy. The purpose of the BDC ("Big Idea, Divergent Thinking, and Convergent Thinking") instructional model is to to scaffold students' inquiry learning. We illustrate the use of this model with an example lesson, designed…
Descriptors: Scaffolding (Teaching Technique), Inquiry, Grade 5, Concept Teaching
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Allchin, Douglas – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Playing the sounds of whales during a class period can initiate the awareness of the role of wonder in education. Students are inspired to avidly collect fascinating facts to pique their interest and open the door to learning science. Indeed, when asked, teachers typically identify their foremost practical challenge as trying to motivate…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Animals, Auditory Stimuli, Student Interests
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Nguyen, Phuong D.; Siegel, Marcelle A. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Project-based learning and action research are powerful pedagogies in improving science education. We implemented a semester-long course using project-based action research to help students apply biotechnology knowledge learned in the classroom to the real world. Students had several choices to make in the project: working individually or as a…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Biotechnology, Student Projects, Action Research
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Dorner, Meredith – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Research shows the importance of active learning, especially within science classes. One way to achieve this goal is to incorporate student-driven projects into the course (e.g., posters). Traditionally, science-poster assignments follow the spirit of the science fair in which a student conducts an experiment and analyzes the results. This article…
Descriptors: Student Projects, Science Activities, Scientific Concepts, Scientific Methodology
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Lampert, Evan – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Invasive species, defined as exotic species that reach pest status, are major threats to global biodiversity. Although invasive species can belong to any taxonomic group, general characteristics such as rapid growth and reproduction are shared by many invasive species. "Invented Invaders" is a collaborative activity in which students…
Descriptors: Science Activities, Teaching Methods, Educational Practices, Environmental Influences
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Hubler, Tina; Adams, Patti; Scammell, Jonathan – American Biology Teacher, 2015
The molecular basis of evolution is an important concept to understand but one that students and teachers often find challenging. This article provides training and guidance for teachers on how to present molecular evolution concepts so that students will associate molecular changes with the evolution of form and function in organisms. Included…
Descriptors: Molecular Biology, Science Education, Evolution, Scientific Concepts
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